Monday, January 27, 2014

Reconstructing Amelia

by Kimberly McCreight

When Kate Baron is called to her daughter’s school, she cannot believe that Amelia is being suspended. Amelia is an excellent student and a well-behaved fifteen-year-old. What Kate discovers when she reaches Grace Hall will change Kate’s world forever: Amelia is dead.

According to officials, Kate jumped off of the school’s roof. How could this have happened? Is this what really happened? Kate, the litigation lawyer, sets out to find the truth.

Through e-mails, text messages, a Gossip Girl-esque blog, and actual conversations with students, Kate is able to “reconstruct” Amelia. Apparently, Kate didn’t really know her daughter at all.

Entertainment Weekly touted this as “Gossip Girl meets Gone Girl.” DailyCandy raves, “It’s Mean Girls meets The Secret History.” No, no, no. A thousand times no.

While I might use Gossip Girl or Mean Girls as points of reference or comparison, I would never compare this novel to Gone Girl or, gasp, The Secret History. This novel lacks the non-stop pacing of Gone Girl, and it lacks the intelligence and refinement of The Secret History. I would not even classify this as a poor man’s version of either novel. It’s just not that good.

The truth of Amelia’s demise is really very boring. And pretty nonsensical. And disappointing. Please don’t bother reading this one.


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